The sweetest heaven.
My heaven, my salvation—neither of which I deserved.
The lemony scent of her sank into my lungs as I took and took, and she had no choice but to be taken. She was my charge after all. Mine to instruct. Mine to discipline.
I kissed her with all the pent-up hunger of the last six weeks. She echoed my intensity, stroking my lips and tongue with eager, impish caresses as though my mouth held what she most needed to exist. I wanted to give it to her, and I did. With a palm on one of her bottom cheeks, I squeezed the firm curve of it, punishing her sensitized welts.
Her moan shuddered through the night. Her kiss shuddered through me, and my brain stopped functioning. We could’ve been the last humans in the world, for all I felt was her.
Just her, the woman who made me so painfully hard, and the cocoon of darkness that was our freedom from the outside world.
I ground my cock against her, telling her with my body what I should never again demand with words. I wanted her innocence, her pleasure, her pain. I wanted her completely, no matter how wrong.
“Magnus.” My name was a plea, her voice pitched with lust and longing.
It only heightened the ache. I ached with the pressure of hard heat. Ached with the knowledge that I only needed to lower my zipper and thrust beneath her skirt.
The thought made me frantic, and I kissed her harder, deeper, needing more, more, more.
I tore my mouth away and spun her around. The blankets tripped up her legs, and she stumbled. I didn’t help her. I shoved her. To her knees, onto her chest, I followed her down to the tangled pile of fleece.
I couldn’t stop my hands from sliding up the backs of her thighs. Couldn’t stop my fingers from pinching and twisting the welts on her hot little ass.
A scream rippled out of her, spurring me to fall upon her and ride her, grinding, dry humping as my fingers fumbled with my zipper. Mindless, feral, I wanted inside her with every drop of my blood. And hers. I wanted to make her bleed.
Her neck turned, bringing her gaze over her shoulder, her eyes bright with female awareness. Her hair dragged through the mud, her face and hands coated with it.
Everything inside me stilled.
This was wrong.
She shouldn’t be held down like this. Not in the mud. Not in the cold. And never ever with me.
“No,” I whispered. Then louder. “No.”
I shoved away from her, driving myself back across the wet earth while battling every desire to claim her.
“What are you doing?” She pushed up, wincing as she rolled to her butt. “Why did you stop?”
“I’m hurting you.”
“No, you’re not.”
“You won’t.” Breath burst from her lungs on a loud guffaw. “I won’t allow it.”
I sprung to my feet, roaring, “I was seconds from taking your virginity in the mud like a fucking animal!”
“Because I was giving it to you!” She stood, too, her knuckles whitening around fists at her sides. “If you want it, it’s yours. I’d much rather get rid of it with you than with Tucker Kensington or some other fumbling boy.”
“I’m not fucking you. Not now. Not ever.” Pounded by fury, I paced, circled a tree, returned to her side, and exploded. “So help me God, if you so much as give Tucker your mouth, I’ll bloody your damn hide so completely you won’t be able to sit for a month. Do I make myself clear?”
“Oh, Miss girl. Is that supposed to be a threat?”
Miss girl? Did she think I was joking around? That this was a laughing matter?
“No one touches you!” My voice thundered with my rage, scaring off whatever was in the trees.
She stumbled back.
I stayed with her, shoving my face in hers.
“Do I make myself clear?”
Her eyes squeezed shut. Then she spun away without another word.